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Donation helps neurological patients rehabilitation

Jessica Walling, 19, from Fareham suffered a sudden onset of weakness which quickly progressed over 24 hours meaning she was unable to move from the neck down.   She was admitted to Southampton General Hospital’s neurological unit on 7 January 2017.

Nicki Seal, specialist Physiotherapist and Lucy Haynes specialist Occupational Therapist said: “Jess was in the Wessex Neurological Centre for two months after suffering acute inflammation of her cervical spinal cord called Transverse Myelitis.  Initially she was dependent for all her basic care needs.  She had breathing difficulties and altered sensation along with complete paralysis.  We worked closely as a team to progress Jess’ rehabilitation and promote as much independence.  Jess’ family were involved as much as possible with completing exercises and stretches.    

Jess explains her treatment: “At the worst stage of my paralysis I was faced with a lot of problems, but had fantastic support by all the hospital team. I spent a long time on bed rest initially and even my breathing was difficult. I required regular chest physiotherapy to help with this, and then rehabilitation with Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy working towards my goals.” 

 “All the time through my treatment the staff ensured that I was comfortable, happy and focused on getting better. Nicki and the team became my fondest memory - their professionalism and personalities pushed me into wanting to get better. They were very focused on making sure I was stretched and that my range of movement was not lost as I was on bed rest.”

 “The care I received when I was admitted into Neuro Intensive Care was incredible and something I remember fondly. They understood my wants and needs and focused on getting as much movement back as possible. They really do light up the corridors when they walk through the wards! This truly is the best place to go when you either have a spinal trauma or spinal disease.”

The Wessex Neurological Centre provides treatment for disorders affecting the brain, spine and nerves. It serves a population of over three million people and treats patients from across the South, including the Channel Islands.

Since coming out of hospital, Jess has started to walk with a walking aid, and is regaining her independence. She has raised an incredible £1,200.10 towards rehabilitation equipment.

Nicki and Lucy add: “We are very grateful for this fantastic donation from Jess and her family which means we can purchase several electrical stimulation units to assist patients early in rehabilitation with walking and upper limb function. This will make a huge difference for patients like Jess in their early rehabilitation.”  

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